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What to Know Before Buying a Second Home in Florida

Fort Lauderdale Waterfront Mansion With A Yacht In The Front

If you find yourself traveling to the same city in Florida vacation after vacation, you may be considering investing in a second home. And you’re not alone — the most recent census data shows that six percent of U.S. households have a second home, which is usually fewer than 150 miles from their main home. Owning a second home can be a great way to save on lodging expenses when traveling, and your new vacation home away from home can provide a number of other benefits. However, there are a few things you should know before looking at the best waterfront properties Fort Lauderdale has to offer.

Before buying that waterfront property of your dreams, consider this:

Determine Your Budget

Buying a second home is not a decision you want to jump right into making. If you already have one mortgage to pay, it’s crucial that you ensure you’re going to be able to pay a second one too. Whether you’re looking for upscale waterfront real estate, oceanfront condos, or luxury homes, you are most likely going to need a conventional mortgage. So before making a purchase, you need to get your finances in order and figure out precisely what you can afford. Fortunately, there is the option of renting out your home when you’re not using it to bring in more income, if desired.

Find the Perfect Location

Florida has many great areas to consider for your second home. If you find yourself taking vacations to Fort Lauderdale every year, then you may want to look into some of the best waterfront property Fort Lauderdale has to offer. What you don’t want to do is buy a home in an area you’ve never stayed in. You want to choose an area that you’re familiar with and feel comfortable in. The area should have plenty of activities you enjoy, and it should offer the desired amenities. Finding the right location is often the most difficult part of buying a home, so invest in the services of an experienced local real estate agent if you need help comparing locations and properties.

Evaluate your needs

Before you buy a second home, it’s important to determine your wants and needs. Is it going to be a vacation home? Are you planning on moving into the secondary home after retirement? Do you need an elevator in the home? These needs are crucial to determine before looking into beach real estate for sale because they can influence your purchase decision. You want to think long-term so you can make the best investment possible.

Buying a second home in Florida can be a great investment. But before looking into the best waterfront property Fort Lauderdale has to offer, it’s important to think about what you really want in a second home. Fortunately, working with experienced local Realtors, can help you through this process with ease.

The Benefits Of Owning A Second Home in Florida

Now that you know what is necessary to purchase a second home, let’s move on to the benefits! Owning a second home in Florida can improve your life in several ways. Here are just a few:

A Go-To Vacation Home

Buying a home in Florida gives you the opportunity to own a go-to vacation home or family retreat. A study covered by shows that nearly half of employees — or 48% — plan to skip their vacations this year. Neglecting to use time off may result in increased rates of depression, anxiety, and heart problems. In other words, taking vacation days is essential to prevent burnout and to boost happiness and overall well-being.

One of the reasons so many workers may choose to skip vacations altogether is that vacations are expensive. The average U.S. family will spend $1,979 or more on summer vacations, according to Business Insider. Buying a home in Florida or owning a second home can significantly curb these costs. Average hotel rates can amount to as much as $260 per night! Eliminate these costs, and spend vacation savings on things you will remember for years to come — things like creating memories and making new experiences.

A Home Away From Home

Vacationing and/or spending time in waterfront homes is a pleasant reprieve from day-to-day life no matter what. However, owning a second home in Florida affords second homeowners even more benefits. While vacationing, few of us have the luxury of being intimately familiar with our surroundings.

Buying a home in Florida affords you the opportunity to own a vacation home, while getting to know the ins and outs of the local area. Imagine knowing the best places to eat and the best places to go — down to the town’s or city’s favorite “hole in the wall” restaurants.

Tax Benefits

Real estate agents agree: there are several, tangible tax benefits to owning a second home. According to, those who own a second home may receive tax benefits or tax breaks from their second mortgage, home improvements, and property taxes.

Homeowners can write off the interest on their mortgage when filing taxes. The same applies to those who own two homes — you can write off the interest you pay on your first and second home. Similarly, just like you can claim property taxes on your first home based on its value, you are eligible to claim property taxes on your second home as well.

A Soft Retirement

Owning a second home in Florida enables homeowners to test the waters or try out a soft retirement. If you are thinking about retiring in Florida but have not made a final decision, purchasing a second home can help you clinch that decision. Spending significant time in your second home will help you get a feel for the weather and local area as well as your neighbors. Use vacations and retreats as a test run to see if that particular area is somewhere you can see yourself living permanently.

Additional Storage

The costs of a storage unit can add up quickly — especially if you store household items for months or years at a time. Portable storage units, for example, average $150 each per month, or nearly $2,000 a year. A second home comes with an attic and other additional storage, like extra closets and walk-in closets. Use this space to your advantage, and no one needs to be the wiser.

Owning a second home in Florida comes with undeniable perks. Enjoy tax benefits, extended vacations, retirement trial runs, and more. Talk to a realtor today to learn why 100 million people visit Florida every year!

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